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Same-Sex Marriage Is Finally Legal in Northern Ireland

Two women about to kiss at a protest.

This means that all can marry throughout the United Kingdom. 

If you're in Ireland and you've been biding your time until you can say "I do," well the opportunity just got a little bit closer. Marriage equality is finally legal in Northern Ireland and as of today, same-sex couples are able to register to marry.

"Today is the culmination of five years of campaigning for marriage equality and marks an enormous step forward for LGBT+ people iin Northern Ireland," the Love Equality Campaign for Marriage Equality wrote in a statement. The organization did note that there are still issues to overcome. "However we celebrate this remarkable achievement with the thousands of people who made their voices heard and demanded change in spite of the many barriers placed in their way. Our campaign for marriage equality will not end until everyone in Northern Ireland has the same right to marry the person they love."

The change means that marriage equality has passed in all of the United Kingdom, given that the rest of the nation legalized the freedom to marry in 2014. The House of Commons in Northern Ireland voted to legalize in July but the move could have been voided. The deadline for that passed in October.

Since October, legislators had to reform laws and do an additional vote, to pave the way for this to all become reality. The deadline for those reforms was today.

Now, a 28-day waiting period begins. Same-sex weddings are expected to kick off on Valentine's Day. Could there be any better timing?! And, of course, people are already likely making plans -- did that engagement come through Blu Hydrangea?

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